Thank you all for generously welcoming me to the forum.

I want to say, Selco, I truly have enjoyed reading your posts for a while, now. Two of my deployments with the military were to the Balkan Peninsula–I spent a little over two years, there, if you combine the time spent on both those deployments. And it is, I believe, impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t been there just how beautiful the countryside is in that region of the world. The people, too, are wonderful in my experience. And I really miss the food–our food in the States is way too processed by comparison, even when it is labeled “organic.”

I guess one of the things that hits home for me with your posts is that it reminds me so much of the difference that exists between a deployed member of a military force versus a civilian in the same area when things get bad. The military has its bases, command centers or outposts, FOB’s, etcetera, along with a full-spectrum of support mechanisms in place depending on circumstances (armor, gas masks, a lot of fire power, air support, supplies and so on), but as a civilian within a community, one is left mostly to their own devices without comparatively any protective blanket of security.

I’d been in the military for a while, so when I finally did go civilian, I sort of felt naked, for lack of a better term. No more issued gear I could grab and go, no more fresh set of boots whenever I needed them, no pilfered boxes of MRE’s to stick in the closet, no more membership to the “big green gun club,” as it’s sometimes called. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I needed to start prepping myself, not even in response to any specific circumstance, but just to make that sense of feeling utterly vulnerable go-away.

In Manhattan, someone who can boil their own water is practically a homesteader compared to your average joe citizen, here–That may be an exaggeration, but sadly not by much. Many, many people, here, religiously eat take-out and grab a bottle of water as needed from the corner store while their shelves remain mostly empty.

As I alluded to in my original post, when Sandy did hit New York, everything south of 14th Street in Manhattan along with the parts of Brooklyn along the East River went dark and were largely flooded–I know some people who saw ten feet of standing water in their buildings, the Holland Tunnel got flooded out, cars were floating down the streets. That isn’t really a huge deal in the scheme of things (Sandy cost a great deal in terms of damage to homes and infrastructure, but it was no Katrina and it certainly wasn’t a worst case scenario), but to think something as minor as that could effectively shut down ALL supply lines into the city for close to a month should be a wake up call to anyone paying attention.

Looking at a map of the city, the only viable option for leaving outright for the mainland U.S. is the George Washington Bridge all the way up on 179th Street (around a 15 mile hike for anyone in lower Manhattan who tries to leave on foot), which is the only above ground mainland facing exit point for Manhattan. Trying to hump out through the tunnels (the only other westward option) while every car in Manhattan is trying to get out seems like it would be almost a comically bad idea.

Otherwise someone’s only options are: head to Long Island via the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, etcetera; swim or paddle across the Hudson River, catch the last ferry out, or hunker down and hope for the best.

I don’t think anything I’ve said up to this point is particularly groundbreaking news to anyone in the 5 boroughs who’s looked at a map, but I also believe most people haven’t put much thought into how exactly they would leave the city in a hurry.

Personally, if I could realistically leave the city, right now, and go live somewhere substantially more remote, I’d do it in a heartbeat, but economic considerations and she who wears the pants have determined that, for now, the city will continue to be a monkey on my back.

I also wanted to say, too, I think it’s great that preppers (I feel like there must be a better word for us, but preparers seems unwieldy and it’s the best I could come up with on the fly) from all-around can come here and mingle, exchange ideas and see we’re not alone.

So, with that, I’ll stop my ramblings and say, again, it’s great to be here. Thank you.

“You know how the first generation are warriors, and then the second generation become farmers, and then the third generation become inventors and creators, and then by the fifth generation they’r